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Forum > Sewing Machines > Serger envy ( Moderated by Sharon1952, EleanorSews)

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Serger envy
The unknown (Janome Juno) or the better known
Seamyside
Seamyside
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Member since 10/27/06
Posts: 9
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Date: 3/29/07 2:18 AM

I have never had or used a serger and was undisturbed by serger envy until I saw a Hancock Fabrics flyer last week advertising the Janome Juno 3434D serger for $189. But this ad, coming after several weeks of really distressing news about store closings and Chapter 11 bankruptcy, struck me as a great excuse to further support my local Hancock's by indulging in a nice serger at reasonable cost ("how about an early Mother's Day gift--to help out Hancock Fabrics?" I tentatively suggested to my husband.)

But it's hard to find much in the way of specific information about the Juno 3434D because the model is so new. Is it equivalent to the 204D, or is it an upgrade or a downgrade? (Where does it fit in the Janome line-up?) The 204D seems to get great reviews--will the Juno be as good and have the same features? Is it different in any way? As far as I can tell, there is no information on the Janome website. One salesperson told me that it requires an additional foot--a rolled hem foot, which is not supplied with the purchase--for the rolled hem; this would be a bit of a bother if this is correct. None of the sales people I spoke with seemed to know much, if anything, about this model or even whether a video is included. So it's a bit difficult to evaluate the Juno from a features/specifications standpoint or to comparison shop.

But maybe my biggest hang-up turns out to be the requirement for serger needles instead of sewing machine needles. Since evidently neither Hancock's nor Joann's carry the required needles, obtaining them would be an inconvenience. Thus despite the excellent reviews I've seen for Janome sergers, this serger needle business gives me pause.

And so, having formulated this plan to purchase the Juno because I wanted to buy it from my local Hancock's, now that I'm hooked on the idea of having a serger, I find myself having "bad" thoughts about other sergers from other vendors. For approximately the same cost as the Juno, or just a little bit more, there is the Brother 1034D, which seems to be very popular and gets lots of good reviews with many attractive features and accessories, as well as the Simplicity SL 390, which has even more features (I really like that it is a 2-3-4 thread serger and is reasonably priced) although perhaps some mixed reviews. And both of these use sewing machine needles and are free-arm models.

So now that I've become serger-obsessed, I will be glad for any helpful advice or comments about these or other models (that use sewing machine needles, of course)!

Betakin
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Betakin
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In reply to Seamyside


Date: 3/29/07 4:38 AM

My daughter has a (Janome) New Home 504D that takes regular sewing machine needles. I think it might be similar to the Juno but the 504D has the lay in tensions rather than the knob type tensions. Her serger was purchased new from an on line dealer for only $199 with free shipping. It does not require an extra foot for rolled hem and I don't remember if a blind hem foot came with the serger. This serger did not require a needle plate change to do a rolled hem and it comes with a video. New Home, Kenmore and several other sergers are also Janome made. These sergers are known to be work horses that rarely need repair. Most low price models but not all do require oiling quite frequently in several places.
The Simplicity SL390 does have an extra needle plate that comes with the serger to change over to when doing a rolled hem. It also comes with a video and an elastic foot and blind hem foot. The critical parts of this serger are made of parts that do not require oil. There are only 2 spots in easy to reach spots that need around 2 drops of oil from time to time. Some Simplicity sergers have not had very favorable reviews but this serger is the same model as the Babylock 450. It is a basic model with good capability of many stitches and easy to use. Both Babylcok and Simplicity are distributed by Tacony. The lower looper has a tiny hole on the left of the looper head that has to be threaded manually but it is easily done because the entire front of the serger opens up. This serger also has a free arm that is smaller and easier to use than the free arms on other brand sergers where the free arms are really too large.
The Brother model is well liked by owners. The only complaints I have seen a few times on some of the forums is that it is not as heavy duty as it could be but it depends on the type of serging you wish to do.
I hope you find a serger you like. I suggest to test some different brands if possible.
-- Edited on 3/29/07 4:41 AM --



Member since 12/31/69
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Date: 3/29/07 7:21 AM

I do believe that the Janome 204D has built in rolled hem - no parts to change in order to do the rolled hem.

I had the Kenmore 16622 whcih is basically the same serger as the 204D. The loopers weren't self threading, but with the aid of a dental floss threader, it was pretty easy to re-thread manually. However, I make a point to tie-on and pull through new thread instead of re-threading whenever possible. Oiling was just in a few easily reached spots and only took a second or two.

Check out your local Sears and see if they have any of the 16655 sergers left over. They can be purchased for about $250 and they are essentially the same as the Janome 634D.

There is also this one (model 16677) at Sears. the website states that it has the instant rolled hem feature, but you can't rely on the website info 100% of the time.

ETA:

504D from Ken's sewing center

Harmony 9102D from Ken's sewing center on Ebay
-- Edited on 3/29/07 7:43 AM --



Member since 12/31/69
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Date: 3/29/07 8:51 AM

I can't help you with any specifics about the serger you are considering but: I would not worry about the future welfare of Hancock's. Their business problems are beyond your ability to rectify by purchasing a serger from them. I know that is your rationale for buying a serger, but please look beyond that and get a serger that will be easier to use. You should be able to buy a very good serger, at a reasonable price, that does not require switching out the foot and the stitch plate in order to do a rolled hem. I had to do that with my first serger, purchased over 20 years ago, but I think the majority of sergers today only require simple adjustments. I personally think you would be better off with the Brother 1034 than with the Juno. I know that Kylnne and Jenny are the serger experts but I just wanted to put my two cents' worth into this discussion. To me, a serger that costs less than $200 new is rather suspect insofar as how good is the quality? Why make things more difficult than necessary for yourself since you will be a real novice at serging in the beginning? JMHO

Ody
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Ody  Friend of PR
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Date: 3/29/07 10:14 AM

I agree with Loiry about the quality. I would save up some more money and try to find a Babylock Eclipse or a good Juki on ebay or other places. My little eclipse is a work horse of a machine, and the air threading makes all the difference. You have not used sailor language until you have repeatedly gone through the exaustive process of threading an obstinate serger. My old one brought me to tears many times and taught me to pray!! Really!
I think the other manufacturers have improved the threading issues as well, and the new BLs are very expensive,--but wonderful.

------
"Sewing should be fun; make it that way!" Margaret Islander
Flying through life by the seat of my pants and hoping I get my crotch curve right.
"No humiliation is too great for a well fitting pair of pants!" Heidi Cooper
J6500P,
J1600P
J3160DC
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Babylock Eclipse serger
My grandmother's Feather Weight

Seamyside
Seamyside
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Member since 10/27/06
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In reply to Ody


Date: 3/30/07 11:38 PM

Thanks to everyone for the great advice. I am going to look further into these suggested models to try to make the best choice.

Tammy(TX)
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Tammy(TX)
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Texas USA
Member since 2/19/04
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In reply to Seamyside


Date: 3/30/07 11:54 PM

I just bought a Juno - I can't tell you a lot about it because it's my first serger and I'm going to set it up tomorrow.

I can tell you that it did NOT come with a video, and it does NOT need a separate foot for the rolled hem - there is no rolled hem foot even listed in the optional accessories list.

I'll be happy to tell you more about after I test it out!

Tammy

mitchs'mom
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mitchs'mom
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Date: 3/31/07 6:28 AM

The Juno is the 204D or the Kenmore 16622, Same exact serger with some cosmetic changes - purple diales. Diff. feed, 3 or 4 threads, built in (beautiful) rolled hem and adjustable stitch width. I have had mine over a year, Kenmore 16622 bought on clearance at Sears for 50.00 - Yes, 50.00!

It is a beast and has sewn cottons, sherpa fleece and fleece. I love the thing.

I looked over the Juno out at Hancocks last weekend. I checked the internal areas to see if they had used cheaper metals or plastic in places. It looked exactly like mine on the inside. They are on sale for 189.00 but regularly sell for 329.00.
-- Edited on 3/31/07 6:32 AM --



Member since 12/31/69
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In reply to Ody


Date: 3/31/07 7:37 AM

Quote: Ody
I agree with Loiry about the quality. I would save up some more money and try to find a Babylock Eclipse or a good Juki on ebay or other places. My little eclipse is a work horse of a machine, and the air threading makes all the difference. You have not used sailor language until you have repeatedly gone through the exaustive process of threading an obstinate serger. My old one brought me to tears many times and taught me to pray!! Really!

I think the other manufacturers have improved the threading issues as well, and the new BLs are very expensive,--but wonderful.

No doubt the Eclipse is likely a fine machine. However, I think wthl some hunting, digging and research one can buy a very capable, basic serger (new or used) with a budget of $200 or so. No, it won't have air threading or automatic tension and other "nice to have" features. To get those, one would have to expand the budget considerably.

I know that I was very hesitant to spend alot of money on my first serger, so I really understand the feelings behind this.

Even if someone's budget isn't grand, I think that they can get a bascic serger and start serging sooner rather than later, IMHO. There are many possitive comments on the boards and good reviews on PR about the basic Brother, Janome and Kenmore sergers, so I can see that these "entry level" sergers are working out well for quite a few people.
-- Edited on 4/1/07 4:35 PM --
Betakin
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Betakin
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Arizona USA
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Date: 4/1/07 2:11 AM

I went to my Hancock's today and no Juno was out on display but they said there was 2 in box in the back. I did like the new full line Bernina dept, It has only been there for a few days and in a different area than the Janome machines.

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